"There is tenderness only in the coarsest demand: that no-one shall go hungry any more" – Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (1974: 156)
I would like to apologise for the rather infrequent posting on the blog over the past few months. Writing, anti-cuts campaigning, and new research projects have left me with little time to regularly update the site. The events of the past few days here in the UK have also left me unwilling to wade into the increasingly shrill and hysterical debate into the causes of the trouble. Perhaps we should heed the words of David Harvey who draws attention to the pernicious features of a ‘feral capitalism’ with characteristic elegance and precision. And yet even Harvey’s casual use of the phrase “mindless rioters” belies the kind of challenge those on the Left face in trying to expose and counter a political economy of mass dispossession. Patient critique and explanation will need to find support in a new affective politics of care, empathy, and solidarity. Lazy attempts to foster an ersatz sociality need to be avoided with the same vigour as the coming revanchism (see Tariq Jazeel’s thoughtful post on the kind of listening at stake here).
In terms of the blog, I promise to keep it updated. I hope to post on the following in the coming months:
1) More on my book-in-progress on the history of squatting in Berlin.
2) Other work that I’ve been doing on the history and politics of squatting in the UK as well as elsewhere in Western Europe and with a particular focus on the proposed criminalization currently being mooted by the coalition government.
3) Broader theoretical reflections on the assembling and composition of a radical urbanism (especially with a view to rethinking conceptual placeholders such as ‘the commons’, ‘antagonism’, and ‘alterity’). I hope there will be a way to connect this up with the ideas and practices of the growing anti-cuts movement in the UK and elsewhere.
4) I would also like to spend more time thinking critically about the affective politics of activism and how hard it is to create meaningful spaces of refuge, resistance, and subversion (especially in the face of exhaustion and burn-out and against a backdrop of economic austerity and precarity).
5) To return to an original motivation for this blog and post regularly on art (exhibitions and criticism)
I look forward to exploring new directions on the blog in coming months and appreciate the support that it has already received.